It is a stupidly busy week for us this week with no less than 4 shows featuring 15 acts over 5 days. Phew.
Wednesday 23rd March – B-Sydes & Neil Morris Unplugged @ The Roaring Donkey
Two more of our favourite acoustic troubadours liven up The Roaring Donkey in our mid-week unplugged session.
B-Sydes (AKA Ben Sydes) became a solo singer-songwriter after becoming disillusioned with the unpredictability of playing in band after band. His first EP Handshakes Turn to Headlocks (2010) proved to be a sampler of what he was capable of. It was said to have ‘Perfectly showcased his ultra stripped down folk ditties’ by the organisers of 2000 Trees Festival. This was followed up shortly after with his 2nd EP Wrecked Vessels (2011), a release that showed all the progression you would expect from an artist growing both in confidence and stature. ‘Punktastic’ – “Nobody can deny the passion that Benjamin has thrown into these songs”. ‘Big Cheese Magazine’ – “Sydes folk-rooted songs deliver raw emotions with passion and conviction”.
Neil Morris was born and raised in the Black Country, started playing bass when he was about 12ish. He formed Kerz who would later become HoldUp with a few friends in school in around 1996ish. They gigged a bit and then split up in around 2000. Bored of trying to form new bands and making them tour he switched to acoustic guitar and went solo.
He released his debut solo EP Fair To Average in 2004 followed by his first full length album A View From The Cheap Seats in 2009, another EP ‘Distant & Distracted’ in 2011 and has his second full length album ‘Dyed in the Wool’ out on 3rd April 2014 whereupon he’ll hit the road for his longest tour to date which at the time of writing has no end date.
Entry is free as always and proceedings kick off at some point between 8.30 and 9.00pm.
More details on the event page.
Thursday 24th April – VICFEST! All Ears Avow, MiddlenameKill, As The Sun Sleeps, Echoic, With Ghosts @The Victoria
Once again, Songs of Praise host night one of VicFest and we have one hell of a line up confirmed blending the best local and regional bands. And this year we rock it up with some of the best pop-punk and alt-rock bands around, each of whom are a headliner in their own right! This promises to be a real heavyweight contender for gig of the year, and it all takes place on a Thursday that is like a Friday! So no work the day after. result!
Tickets are £4 in advance from Seetickets or the venue or are £5 on the door. We should be getting going around 7.30pm.
Full details and links are on the event page.
Saturday 26th April – George Wilding (Full Band) + Phil Cooper (Full Band) @ The Locomotive
We move down the hill on Saturday to present SoP regulars and two of the rising names on the acoustic circuit playing as full bands. George Wilding is about to release a new e.p. called Lunatic and this show will act as a transition for his usual stripped back, acoustic deliveries as he is joined on stage by various members of The Lighterthief Collective (i.e. The Low Flying Birds AKA The Rowe family!) to fill the sound out and present the new songs.
Phil Cooper is back already after a triumphant “Unplugged” show last week, this time opening the night, and this time in full band mode. His his recent album will also be available.
Entry is free with music starting at 10.00pm
More details on this here event page.
Monday 28th March – VICFEST! The Shudders, Pete Gow (Case Hardin), Sam Bates (The Incredible Disappearing Boy), George Wilding, Jamie R Hawkins + Tamsin Quin Unplugged@ The Victoria
As well as opening the festival this year we close it, with a late afternoon / early evening session in the top bar of acoustic, stripped back loveliness from some familiar faces hand picked from our regular Unplugged sessions.
Headliners The Shudders will be stripping back their usually raucous Americana sound for a more mellow but no less dynamic delivery. Special Guest Pete Gow plays his first solo gig in Swindon, playing his wonderful catalogue of songs from SoP favourites. Case Hardin. Sam Bates also steps away from his band The Incredible Disappearing Boy to dial it down a little.
We also welcome regular solo acts George Wilding, Jamie R Hawkins and the folk-pop pixie princess herself Tamsin Quin.
First act should be on from 4pm. Entry is free and it all takes place in the main bar rather than the venue. Cosy!
All details are on the event page.